Constitutional Reform: Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi

Protocol I, Chapter II:

Preamble:

1. To ensure that a constitutional text for the people of Burundi is drafted during the transition period that is in conformity with the principles set forth in Chapter I of the present Protocol, and to ensure that such a text is adopted and brought into force in accordance with the time-frames and procedures herein, in conformity with a vision of democracy and good governance and the principles listed hereunder.

Article 5:

General political measures:

1. Institution of a new political, economic, social and judicial order in Burundi, in the context of a new constitution inspired by Burundian realities and founded on the values of justice, the rule of law, democracy, good governance, pluralism, respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, unity, solidarity, equality between women and men, mutual understanding and tolerance among the various political and ethnic components of the Burundian people.

5. Adoption of constitutional provisions embodying the principle of separation of powers (executive, legislative and judicial), pursuant to the provisions of Protocol II to the Agreement.

Implementation History

2003

Intermediate Implementation

Not all major parties to the conflict signed the agreement until 2003. During this three year gap, implementation of the constitutional reform provision began. 

An interim constitution was adopted in 2001 for the transitional period until 2005. During debate on the draft constitution, Tutsi lawmakers boycotted constitutional meetings on issues related to power-sharing provisions in the accord.1

  • 1. "Burundi's Tutsi lawmakers boycott constitution meeting," Agence France Presse, September 4, 2004.
2004

Intermediate Implementation

On 17 September 2004, the Burundian parliament approved the draft constitution.2 The parliament-approved constitution was approved in referendum that took place on 28 February 2005 in which 92.02% voters approved the new constitution.3

2005

Full Implementation

After approval in the referendum, President Domitien Ndayizeye ratified the constitution on 19 March 2005.4 The constitution came into effect immediately.

  • 4. "Burundi constitution becomes law as country continues to heal wounds," Agence France Presse,  March 19, 2005."
2006

Full Implementation

New democratic constitution based on a power sharing formula between the Hutus and Tutsis came into effect in March 2005.

2007

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2008

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2009

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2010

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2011

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2012

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.